A special visitor came calling at the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon Office, Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere on Tuesday; it was the nation’s basketball legend, Olumide Oyedeji.
The former NBA star came to thank the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, for supporting road races and marathons instead of football.
The towering star was received on arrival at the Marathon Office by General Manager Marathon Yusuf Alli, Consultant to the Marathon Bukola Olopade, Head Communications and Media Olukayode Thomas, and Secretary of the Organizing Committee Olumide Bamiduro.
Oyedeji does not have anything against football but he believes the sports is getting more than enough attention from government at all levels as well as from sponsors,
“I thank Governor Ambode for choosing to support marathons instead of football. Having a marathon in Lagos is a very good development, it will raise the level of our athletes who partake in road races and marathons and bring the best out of them. I am glad and excited to be here to show support for the marathon, Lagos State and Lagos at 50 celebrations,” he said.
Oyedeji also posits that marathons and road races are now part of the criteria for assessing global destinations and the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon has put Lagos on the same level with cities that have international marathons worldwide.
“I admire Ambode, he is a great sports lover who takes delight in empowering and developing the youth, he is taking Lagos to a greater heights and making giant strides in all areas of human endeavour.”
The founder and president of Olumide Oyedeji Foundation that has empowered close to 50,000 kids in about 15 years from different parts of the world urged the governor to support other sports like VolleyBall, Basketball, Handball, “ and especially Table Tennis, a sport which Lagos was champion of in Nigeria’’.
Meanwhile, distribution of kits to participants in the marathon event will commence from February 1, 2017 and end February 9, 2017.
According to the GM Alli, runners are to come to Molade Okoya Thomas Hall, venue of the 2017 Access Bank Lagos Marathon Expo with the identification cards to collect their kits. The office will open at 9 am and close at 6 pm daily.